The following people made this article possible:
As always, if you’d like to contribute data and have your name featured in the article, make sure to submit your games to both the Throne Ladder and Expedition Ladder forms. If your opponent was on an off-meta deck, please just write a little bit of information about it to make my job a little easier. If you have a large data set, you can DM them to /u/NotoriousGHP on Reddit, [TRS] NotoriousGHP#6765 on discord, or email me at [email protected]
The quality of the metagame breakdown depends entirely on how many submissions we get. These are our significant thresholds:
0-222 games – I am not confident in the data we have, the quality of analysis will deteriorate greatly.
222-285 games – I am confident in the value of our data, the articles will function perfectly normal incapacity
286-399 games – The metagame breakdown will include any tier 4 lists I have enough data for.
400+ games – The sample size is big enough for more precise rounding.
This week we had a sample of 322 games for Throne Constructed and 281 for Expedition Constructed.
Throne Meta Spread:
Combrei Aggro: 8.2%
Stonescar Aggro: 7.5%
Rakano Aggro: 6.4%
Elysian Midrange: 5.3%
Ixtun Control: 5%
Grodov (FTJ) Midrange: 5%
Argenport Midrange: 4.3%
Skycrag Control: 3.6%
Winchest Midrange: 3.2%
Xenan Midrange: 3.2%
Praxis Midrange: 3.2%
Skycrag Aggro: 2.9%
Rakano Midrange: 2.5%
Feln Control: 2%
Hooru Midrange: 1.8%
Mono Fire Aggro: 1.8%
Throne Meta Breakdown:
For the first in what feels like forever, we do not have a deck breaking our tier 1 threshold of 10%. This isn’t overly surprising, with a new meta to explore alongside many players experimenting for the ECQ that just occurred, it’s looking like a good time to play Throne. This past week was likely the most Eternal I’ve played in at least a year, and I can say it feels wide open. Right now it does feel like one archetype is struggling, and that’s midrange.
Looking at both the ECQ results and the meta breakdown, aggressive and tempo decks seem to be on the rise and are being combated by control decks. In between should be the midrange decks, but the aggressive decks have a lot more efficient cards then they do making it much harder for midrange to have its usual effect of combating aggro. The only real exception seems to be Winchest, which some would argue to be midrange while others would claim it is a control deck. We saw a massive resurgence of Winchest this weekend, including being my choice for the event and the struggle to classify this deck is due to its ability to adapt to almost any meta game, but it has to choose its targets. If this deck wants to target aggresive decks it can with cards like Defiance and Suffocate, or it can combat midrange with more cards like Annihilate.
Speaking of Winchest, myself and the majority of Team Rankstar brought our own take on Winchest to the ECQ this weekend, putting three of us into the top 64 with it, and one of our top 64 loses was a team kill. This was one of the most popular archetypes in the event, but there wasn’t just one build floating around. Players such as ManuS decided to play a variant with 4 copies of Icaria, while others such as Team Rankstar and Seek Power Gaming brought variants with Icaria religated to the market. Even between Rankstar and Seek Power Gaming, more differences showed up such as one playing 4 Harsh rules, while the other shipped Harsh rule to the market and instead brought a playset of Eclipse Dragon to battle. Although Winchest has received an absurd amount of both direct and indirect nerfs, this archetype never really stays down and with less Heart of the Vault floating around, I expect many more innovations to come from this archetype.
Reanimator did take down the event this weekend, an archetype many players have slept on as of late. Although it is not the most consistent deck currently, this deck was given a huge opportunity to shine as Winchest picked back up in popularity and the aggressive decks that did show up in large quantities this weekend lacked much interaction. Of note, Combrei Aggro was the most popular deck, and this deck struggles to interact with Reanimator’s gameplan, only really packing Vanquishers blade, a card not even found in every list. I’ve never been a huge fan of Reanimator, but this was a good choice for the expected metagame for those who feel comfortable playing this archetype and are okay with excepting the risks that can come from it. Congrats to Colacoma for booking your ticket to the world championship.
Expedition Meta Spread:
Elysian Midrange: 19.2%
Hooru Aggro: 7.8%
Rakano Aggro: 7.5%
Xenan Control: 7.1%
Combrei Aggro: 6%
Stonescar Midrange: 5.6%
Feln Control: 5%
Argenport Control: 5%
Winchest Control: 4.3%
Skycrag Aggro: 2.5%
Kerrendon Control: 2.1%
Expedition Meta Breakdown:
Unlike Throne, there still exists a tier 1 or better archetype in Expedition, and that’s Elysian Midrange. This deck has been at the top of the popularity food chain since the release of set 7, despite the range of opinions players have on this deck. Some players believe it to be the best deck, sporting cards such as Daring Griffyn and Sodi’s Spellshaper in order to overpower opponents with superior card quality, while others such as LightsOutAce take to twitter to wonder why anyone at all plays this deck. This deck has a lot of great tools, but with the influx of Shadow midrange and control decks in the format, I do lean towards this deck not being as strong as it is represented.
Elysian is still a powerful option, and with a new campaign coming, the entirety of Expedition may see a massive shakeup, or we could still be kneeling to the Shadow based meta. Despite our top 3 decks all not containing Shadow, I do feel as if the most powerful archetypes right now are the shadow based ones with the Incarnus + Tasbu + Karvet + Market vara game plan. Speaking of the new campaign and Shadow, there’s something that needs serious addressing, Eremot’s Designs.
Eremot’s Designs has been causing a lot of bold reactions since it got spoiled, and for good reason. Some players reacted the same way they did to Hailstorm, with RIP Aggro, while others claim it is just another shadow spell but the most interesting claim, was RIP Expedition. In Throne, I don’t see this card being anything special and will likely be a market card or see very little play, as it is a very conditional removal spell. I could see it being played in non-primal, Shadow decks that want access to a market anti-aggro card, but in that case, Malediction is a fine option. In Expedition, 2 cost units are very important and protecting them or buffing them outside the range of cards such as Conflagerate is a powerful option, and cards such as Varret are pillars of the format. Against these units, it doesn’t matter how many finest hours you have, you’re units are going to die.
This card adds to the already stacked line up of Shadow cards in Expedition, and I am concerned that Shadow will become even more polarizing to the format with this card and instead of playing other cheap removal. I think many players can say that they don’t want to see Shadow decks be Incarnus + Tasbu + Karvet + 4 cost removals + Smuggler + early units such as Fenris + Eremots Designs + a couple of cards in a second color. With this much repetition in deck building, the format will begin to feel stale and if Eremots Designs is everywhere, it will push certain strategies out of the format, especially aggressive ones without much Aegis.
Thanks for tuning into this week’s Meta Monday! With the ECQ wrapping up and a Campaign on the way, expect more drastic meta changes in the coming weeks as we close out the year. For those interested, Noverb will be doing a writeup on the Winchest deck Team Rankstar brought to the ECQ this weekend which should come out Wednesday, and Isochron will be writing the last Meta Monday of 2019 where they talk about the year in Eternal. See you next week!
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